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Join in Marriott’s Way cycling celebration

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, a Whitwell-to-Norwich cycle rally is taking place on the Marriott’s Way Norfolk Trail on Sunday September 10 between 11am and 4pm. People are being urged to bring along their bikes both new and old to the event organised by Norfolk County Council, as part of the Marriott’s Way Heritage Trail Project, and Pushing Ahead.

The ride is set to stretch the 11 miles between the former Marlpit Arms pub, in Lower Hellesdon, and Whitwell Station near Reepham, and there will be refreshments and activities at each end of the rally route throughout the day. Everyone is welcome to go along and for those without their own bike it’ll be easy to take to two wheels on the day as free bicycle loan will be available at Whitwell, subject to availability, with a minibus back to Whitwell from the Marlpit Arms for those cyclists who need it. Martin Wilby, chairman of the environment, transport and development committee, said: “Over 100,000 cyclists, walkers and horse riders already use the Marriott’s Way every year which is hardly surprising as this accessible attractive traffic-free route links Aylsham, Reepham, Lenwade, Drayton, and Costessey with the heart of the city. “Do come along to see the rally and don’t forget you’re welcome to bring your bike to ride the trail and explore the fascinating history of this former railway line. You never know you may even find that the Marriott’s Way could be a new healthy route for your daily commute or somewhere from which to explore the beautiful Wensum valley countryside.” At Whitwell and Reepham Station the cycle rally will be setting off from 11am with people encouraged to dress in 1940s theme to match the train rides, restored station and mini-museum displays there on the day. During the day there will also be heritage railway displays, and the café at Whitwell station will be open from 8am for breakfast. At the Marlpit Arms end of the route there will be a host of events, activities and refreshments. The first set of riders along the rally route will be arriving from about midday after their ride down from Whitwell with prizes being awarded for best dressed adult, child and bike. Visitors will be able to get involved in cycling activities including balance bikes for children and adults, a bicycle obstacle course and there will be the chance to have a go at using the “smoothie” bike to create your own drink and a paint spinning bike to make a unique piece of art to take home. Live music will come from local folk music group The Marlpit Collective at 3.30pm and local artists will be displaying their work alongside an exhibition of vintage bikes and furniture and a look at the history of the Marlpit Arms pub and plans for its future. Locally-produced food will be available including a vegan curry alongside a hog roast, cakes and scones and real ales. And inbetween 11am and 6pm visitors will be able to meet lambs, sheep, a pony and small mammals with Angelica’s Rainbow, and even watch lamb racing. For younger cyclists and anyone wanting a shorter ride there will also be the opportunity to join the route at Drayton, riding just half the course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final week for competition entries from budding writers

By: Innes Enslin

There is just one week left for children and young people across Norfolk to submit their entries into Norfolk County Council’s creative writing competition for 5-13 year olds.

Write On Norfolk – a competition aimed at boosting summer learning and honing children’s writing skills has already received more than 120 entries since it opened on the 5 June, and now with just a week to go Norfolk County Council is encouraging even more children to get their entries in before it’s too late.  The Write On Norfolk competition is open to children and young people who are aged between five and 13 years old. Budding writers are asked to submit a piece of original creative writing before 31 August.

For the second year Jarrold of Norwich is backing the competition and will be donating Jarrold book tokens as prizes. In addition to these vouchers there will be a prize of an Amazon Fire tablet up for grabs for the gold winners.  Plus those writers who are enrolled in the Children’s University, their entries will earn credits towards their degree.

Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council, who is one of the final judges for the competition said: “Helping Norfolk’s children achieve their full potential by giving them every opportunity to develop vital skills like reading and writing is a key priority for the county council which is why I’m so pleased that we are running this competition again.

“Last year I enjoyed reading some wonderful stories and poems from young people across Norfolk, and I hope that this year we get even more children taking part.

“As a Mum myself, I know just how important it is to keep up those skills during the long weeks of the summer holidays, but this competition is designed to be a fun way of doing it so I hope that parents, grandparents and carers will give them as much encouragement as possible to enter.”

BBC Radio Norfolk’s breakfast presenter, Nick Conrad, who will also judge the entries added: “Children can be wonderfully creative. Anything that marries up improving English skills, promoting literature and encouraging our next generation to get inspired, I support. I look forward to reading the stories and adventures conjured up by the minds of Norfolk’s school children.”

The only rules for the competition are that the writing must be a maximum of 500 words (roughly one side of A4 paper), and it must contain a link to Norfolk. The entry can be a short story, poem, script or even song lyrics and must be submitted online via the Norfolk County Council website – www.norfolk.gov.uk/writeon. Full details about the competition, including how to enter, and terms and conditions can be found by visiting the Council website.

Free child seats checks

Norfolk County Council’s road safety team and crews from Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service are once again taking to the road during the school holidays to host more than a dozen free child car seat checks across the county.

More Norfolk children are killed or seriously injured whilst in a car than they are as a pedestrian or cyclist. One in three child car seats are incorrectly fitted in Norfolk but almost all of these can be fixed immediately.

Child car seats are a legal requirement in the UK and make children far less likely to be seriously hurt in a collision. But they must be correctly fitted and adjusted to offer maximum protection, and it is easy to get it wrong. The events are running until August 16, 10am until 2pm at the locations listed below.  Families are invited to come along to get their child seats checked and to ask our team of experts about any aspect of road safety.
The county council’s road safety experts are also using the 18 free child seat safety checks to encourage parents to keep children rear facing in the car for much longer than families traditionally do in this country.
Scandinavian countries routinely keep their children in a rear facing seat until they are four or five years old. Research proves this is five times safer than the UK approach of putting a child in a forward facing seat at around nine months old.
Iain Temperton, the county council’s road safety manager, said: “I would urge anybody carrying young people to visit one of our events. It will only take five minutes but that will be time well spent if it improves the safety of the next generation of road users.”
Alistair Steele, consultant anaesthetist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn said: “During my time as an air ambulance doctor and as a trauma doctor I have seen too many children severely injured from car accidents. In addition to the messages about driving safely we really want to help parents and carers get the right advice about child safety in cars, and there is a confusing array of restraints and booster systems available.
“The best thing to do is to take advice from a professional car seat fitter to ensure you’ve not only chosen a safe seat but also it is installed correctly.”
Child seat safety check events are taking place in the following locations from 10am until 2pm:Mon 24 July  Norwich – Tesco Harford Bridge
Tue 25 July  North Walsham – Sainsburys
Wed 26 July Sheringham – Tesco
Thu 27 July Aylsham – Tesco
Fri 28 July  Stalham- Tesco
Sat 29 July Holt – Budgens
Mon 31 July Norwich – Longwater Sainsburys
Tue 1 Aug Wymondham – Waitrose
Wed 2 Aug  Thetford – Sainsburys
Thu 3 Aug Diss – Morrisons
Fri 4 Aug Great Yarmouth – Asda
Mon 7 Aug Dereham – Tesco
Tue 8 Aug Downham Market – Tesco (2pm-6pm)
Wed 9 Aug Kings Lynn – Sainsburys
Thu 10 Aug Fakenham – Tesco
Fri 11 Aug Swaffham – Tesco
Tue 15 Aug Norwich – Sprowston Tesco
Wed 16 Aug Norwich – Hall Road Asda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Vibrant’ new look for former Sheringham seafront hotel

A first-floor restaurant with panoramic views over the promenade and the sea will be an integral part of a development planned for the site of the former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham.
Wymondham-based architects Lucas Hickman Smith have designed plans for owners Huddies to transform the derelict hotel on the seafront into vibrant new building with the restaurant, shops and flats in keeping with the town’s heritage and the nearby buildings.
The ground-floor retail units, first-floor restaurant and residential apartments on the upper floors will all have sea views to take advantage of its position overlooking the beach.
Company director Andrew Roper said: “We believe the application proposes a vibrant, forward-looking new building, of high architectural quality and demonstrating a clear link to Sheringham’s heritage and its immediate context.
“We are keen for local life to be enhanced by the proposed development, and in particular that the wider community should have the opportunity to enjoy the expansive views over the promenade, the beach and the sea that are offered by the site’s location.”
An application for full planning permission has been submitted to North Norfolk District Council and comes at a time when the council was considering applying for a compulsory purchase order on the site for an alternative development, incorporating the site of the Former Shannocks Hotel and the adjacent Chequers Car Park, which is owned by NNDC.
Judy Oliver, for NNDC, said: “As per the last cabinet decision, we are maintaining pressure on the owners to move forward with development, by putting our own development proposals forward for planning approval, along with a voluntary offer to purchase the derelict hotel from them.”
However, Huddies has urged it to rethink its proposals in light of its application.
“The acquiring authority pays all of the costs of the CPO and the public inquiry, and is usually ordered to pay a successful objector’s legal and professional costs,” said Mr Roper, adding it would “not be in the interests of local ratepayers”.
John Western, a director at Lucas Hickman Smith architects said the company had looked at re-developing the current building but that it was in too poor a state. He said: “The fabric and structure are in a bad state and there are issues with salt saturation.”Mr Roper said: “Retention and renovation of existing buildings is not always an option and the professional and expert opinion received by the company is that this cannot be justified, and would detrimentally impact upon the viability of the scheme. NNDC’s alternative scheme, which was displayed at a consultation event in December, suggests that they have received similar advice from their own property advisors.
“In addition, the existing building’s solid wall construction precludes most forms of thermal insulation and, together with a permeable external skin, has meant that the building has been unable to resist salt spray in its exposed location, leading to significant damp problems.
“The company’s objective of achieving a high level of thermal and environmental performance from the building can only be achieved through demolition and redevelopment.”
If the plans are approved, which the site’s owner expects will take approximately three months, it is hoped work could start before the end of the year, though the developers, who bought the site in late 2010, said that works would steer clear of the summer season.
Mr Roper said: “We are keen to ensure that we minimise disruption to local businesses during the tourist season, and this approach was supported by NNDC when we submitted our project execution plan to them in September of last year.”
He added: “The site is significant in the context of Sheringham and North Norfolk, and the company is fully committed to providing this positive, contemporary addition to the town, which it fully expects will benefit the local community, providing employment in the ground and first-floor commercial spaces, improving the commercial viability of the high street, attracting visitors to the town and presenting a bright, optimistic and forward-looking vision for the seafront and the town.”
The council earlier this month said it could stop the compulsory purchase order at any time if the current site owners were seen to be taking action to tidy up the area.

Plan, eat and you really do save

Words by BETH ALSTON

Many of us would not consider ourselves to be wasteful. There are few people above chopping off the sprouting parts of potatoes that have been left at the back of a cupboard and does anyone really have an issue with eating a banana that has gone slightly brown?

It seems that not everyone has as loose standards as me because it has been reported that in Norfolk, food waste makes up approximately one third of the contents of our bins. The average family could save £700 a year, simply by throwing away less food.

Plan Eat Save is Norfolk County Council’s campaign to help Norfolk residents reduce their food waste and save money. Part of the campaign has been to encourage people to sign up to the Food Waste Challenge, which I myself did back in September at a Plan Eat Save cooking demo outside the Forum in Norwich.

The cooking demo was hosted by one of Norfolk’s best-loved chefs and YouTubers, Ian Haste from Haste’s Kitchen. Ian is the campaign’s official ambassador and a huge advocate of stripping cooking back to the basics and getting everyone involved in creating simple but delicious meals.

Speaking at the demo, Ian said: “Fifteen million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year and a huge majority of that comes from our homes. I’ve teamed up with Plan Eat Save because I want to share tips and recipe’s to help people stretch their food further and longer, and save them money. I’ll be working with Plan Eat Save to show people what to do with leftovers that will appeal to the whole family.”

Just over three months after signing up to the Food Waste Challenge with the Plan Eat Save team at the cooking demo, I reviewed my weekly online food bill and discovered that in total compared to previous months, I had saved just under £150. This was including Christmas, which we all know is a more extravagant time of year (those mince pies and quality street aren’t going to eat themselves…).

By simply using the challenge’s weekly meal planner and taking note of the weekly top tip’s on Plan Eat Save’s Instagram, I had not only saved money, I had also become more organised with meal planning and wasted less food.

To find out more and sign up to the Food Waste Challenge, visit: http://www.recyclefornorfolk.org.uk/get-involved/food-waste/plan-eat-save/

To check out Ian’s YouTube channel:https://www.youtube.com/user/HastesKitchen

Work to start tomorrow on new Aylsham roundabout

Work is due to start tomorrow on the new roundabout at the A140/Burgh Road junction in Aylsham.

The work will mean more road closures and delays for motorists but residents and businesses of Burgh Road have been assured that the end of the road near the A140 will not be closed until the National Grid gas repairs at the junction of Burgh Road and Oakfield Road are completed by January 25 and those roads reopened.

Martin Dixon, Norfolk County Council area network co-ordinator – north, said: “Work to the roundabout commences on January 11, but we have stipulated that the town side section of Burgh Road must not be closed until NGG have completed. There will however, be closure of Burgh Road on the other side of the bypass, and roundabout works will commence there. Expect to see traffic signals in place on the bypass as well.”

He said the gritting teams, the depot of which is near the work area, and bus co-ordinators will be kept up to date with latest situation.

The work is expected to take three months and is be paving the way for town’s new filling station and pop-in Marks and Spencer store.

The £575,000 project, which is being funded by David Wilson Homes, will be carried out by Norfolk County Council’s Community and Environmental Services Department and their contractors.

Diversion signs and “business as usual” notices will be in place and there will be traffic control.

The Lindum Group is also expected to start work on developing the former Aylsham Bathroom and Kitchen Centre site into the filling station and associated buildings.

Local councillor Ian Graham was positive about the plans, saying: “I am so pleased that at last two major improvements to the town are due to start shortly – firstly the development of the new petrol station, a boon to those of us who do not travel too far, secondly the roundabout at the junction of the bypass and Burgh Road.

“Although for some while it will mean a good deal of disruption, I believe it will be well worth it. I am certain that it will not only be safer for those using that junction but hopefully it will mean traffic being slower, and consequently safer, at the Buxton Road junction.”

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Free child car seats checks could be lifesaver

Families in Norfolk are being invited to get their child car seats checked for free next month.

Norfolk County Council’s road safety team and crews from Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service are taking to the road in August to host more than a dozen free child car seat checks across the county.
Child car seats are a legal requirement in the UK and make children far less likely to be seriously hurt in a collision. But they must be correctly fitted and adjusted to offer maximum protection, and it is easy to get it wrong. Families can also ask the experts about any aspect of road safety.
The County Council’s road safety experts are also using the 19 free child care seat checks to encourage parents to keep children rear facing in the car for much longer than families traditionally do in this country.
Scandinavian countries routinely keep their children in a rear facing seat until they are four or five years old. Research proves this is five times safer than the UK approach of putting a child in a forward facing seat at around nine months old.
Iain Temperton, the County Council’s Road Safety Manager, said: “I would urge anybody carrying young people to visit one of our events. It will only take five minutes but that will be time well spent if iimproves the safety of the next generation of road users.”
Alistair Steele, Consultant Anaesthetist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn said: “During my time as an air ambulance doctor and as a trauma doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn I have seen too many children severely injured from car accidents.
“In addition to the messages about driving safely we really want to help parents and carers get the right advice about child safety in cars, and there is a confusing array of restraints and booster systems available.
“The best thing to do is to take advice from a professional car seat fitter to ensure you’ve not only chosen a safe seat but also it is installed correctly. Well fitted, rear facing seats in the back of the car are probably your best chance of protecting children in the event of a crash.”

You can attend one of the free child car seats checks from 10am to 2pm as follows:
1 Aug – Sainsbury’s, Longwater
2 Aug – Tesco, Aylsham
3 Aug – Waitrose, North Walsham
4 Aug – Morrisons, Cromer
5 Aug – Tesco, Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston
6 Aug – Tesco, Harford Bridge, Norwich
8 Aug – Tesco, Hunstanton
9 Aug – Morrisons, Fakenham
10 Aug – Tesco, Watton
11 Aug – Tesco, Dereham
12 Aug – Sainsbury’s, Kings Lynn
15 Aug – Sainsbury’s, Great Yarmouth
16 Aug – Waitrose, Wymondham
17 Aug – Budgens, Harleston
18 Aug – Sainsbury’s, Thetford
19 Aug – Asda, Great Yarmouth
20 Aug – Budgens, Holt
22 Aug – Tesco, Stalham
23 Aug, train station car park, Sheringham

History preserved for community at former RAF base

The pilots were the ones who were in the spotlight during RAF Coltishall’s long history but this spotlight was turned on those who toiled behind the scenes for the latest historic work at the site.

It was the ground crew who were the focus as dignitaries, Norfolk County Council representatives, including chairman and Elected Member Champion for the Armed Forces David Collis, saw the final restoration of two WW2 fighter pens at the former base.

David Gurney, the council’s historic environment manager, likened the role of the ground crews to the Formula 1 pit stop teams, saying: “Lewis Hamilton is the one people know in the driving seat but behind him are the teams of engineers keeping him on track. It was exactly the same in WW2.”

The pens and an adjacent shed were cleared from the undergrowth in 2012 and a grants of £14,000 were awarded to help restore them. This has included rebuilding of an end wall of the shed with help from the community, a video showing how the pens were used during war and information boards detailing the history.

The project has also involved the Spirit of Coltishall historical group and other members of the forces past and present.

Today’s events included a fly past by a Typhoon and a static display of model Spitfires and Hurricanes by Coltishall Memorial Flight.

Mr Collis said: “We are revisiting history from a services point of view and from a community point of view.

“We have to preserve what we have here and look after it, and encourage more people from the local community to come and have a look.”

Mr Gurney added: “We have this fantastic heritage site in the heart of the community and it has a place in the hearts of the people of Norfolk.”

Work experience students Molly, Tamzin and Liam, from Aylsham High, and Edward, from Broadland High, created this video of the day around the base. See http://bit.ly/2aqq6XE